Social Skills Activities for Autism

We learn social skills as we grow up. We observe other people and pick up on little things. You sometimes see children copying their parents – this is how these skills are picked up. Some autistic children pick up these skills differently and may need extra help to develop them.

Social Skills Scenario Cards

This activity helps autistic children to recognize emotions and feelings while allowing them to understand how other people might feel in certain situations.

Some autistic children require extra support when it comes to recognizing and understanding other people’s emotions and feelings, and this activity can help them with that. It also teaches them to think about what they say to other people.

An activity like this is a great way to stimulate and encourage discussion in your classroom about social situations without the pressure of actually being in a difficult situation.  Your students will surprise you with their wonderful points of view! Try these cards with your students and see what they might teach you!

It’s Okay If You Don’t Win

Nobody likes losing, but we must take the moral high ground, congratulate the winner, and move on. This can be a sensitive area for some autistic children. They may not react as expected when they haven’t won, which can cause them to get upset, overwhelmed, or angry. Some autistic children may also react negatively toward those who win.

For example, one says, “Ben has lost the race. He is sad and wants to hit Alyssa. What should he do?” This allows the child to think about the situation in a safe environment and discuss how it might make them feel, act,  and evaluate what is going on, which will help them to think about how they might want to act the next time they find themselves in a challenging and competitive environment.

Taking Turns

This is another common area that autistic children may need additional help with. It can be particularly difficult for some children to wait their turn, whether this is speaking in a conversation or to play a game.

You can read the story with the children and ask them questions as it goes on. You could ask them why they should wait and how it would make others feel if they didn’t.

Again, this is a brilliant way to help children develop their social skills and a great way to teach them about emotions and feelings.

Asking for help

Asking for help can be a big deal for some autistic children, as anxiety and shyness might crop up depending on who they have to ask. They may not know how to ask for help, or they might know when to ask for help.

Asking for help is a really important social skill. Adults sometimes need to ask for help, so ensuring children have this skill very important. Without this social skill, children may not ask for help, and it might not be noticed when they need support.

Choose your Reaction!